The thought of buying a digital piano is enough to cause some people to raise their eyebrows. That’s probably because many of these people remember the cheap digital models that were introduced by toy manufacturers during the 1980s. Fortunately, those days are over, and new digital models are not only worthy enough for piano students to buy for practice but are so good just about any musician would benefit from owning one of them. Below are ten of the best models available, just so you can see for yourself how far these instruments have come. It’s truly amazing the features built into some of them nowadays.
Our Top Picks for the Best Digital Pianos
#1 Yamaha P71 88-Key Weighted Action Keyboard
The Yamaha P71 may just be the greatest digital piano currently available. It not only has a space-saving design with a depth of only 12-inches and a weight of only 25-pounds, but it is also capable of producing some really great sound. This instrument features 88 fully weighted keys which help to simulate a real acoustic piano feel, and it has 10 different voices built into it–including the sampled tone of a real Yamaha acoustic grand piano. Another feature that really makes it stand out among other brands is that it also features a Dual Mode that combines two different voices together. The bottom line, however, is that it just sounds great.
#2 Casio Privia PX-160 Piano Bundle
This bundle comes with a pretty decent assortment of accessories. It comes with a CS-67 stand, a furniture bench, an SP-33 pedal, an instruction DVD and manual, and even comes with a polishing cloth for keeping everything in good condition. The star of this bundle isn’t all of these accessories however, it’s the Casio PX 160 itself that makes this bundle great. This is one of Casio’s best selling digital pianos and is a big improvement over their Casio PX 150. It is redesigned with a rich, high-quality speaker system that delivers beautiful sound, and is equipped with a great collection of piano and string ensemble tones. It really is a great digital piano bundle for its price.
#3 Yamaha PSR-EW300 SA 76-Key Portable Keyboard Bundle
This digital keyboard piano really has some nice features built into it that makes it a real pleasure to play. Not only does it have 76-keys which have a natural feel to them, but it also has 574 voices, 165 styles and 154 songs built into it as well. This unit is also equipped with Yamaha’s Education Suite, otherwise known as Y.E.S., that allows the student to practice their instrument using one of the many preset songs. Another innovative feature found on this piano is a USB to host feature that allows for easy transfer of MIDI files to a computer for manipulation using just about any compatible music software.
#4 Yamaha YDP103 Arius Series Digital Console
Not only does this digital piano play and sounds like a real acoustic guitar because of Yamaha’s GHS Weighted Action System and its AWM Stereo Sampling, but thanks to its console and bench it looks like one, too. This high-quality piano is equipped with 88-keys which reproduce an authentic acoustic touch and is also equipped with 10 built-in voices. Using this instrument’s Dual Mode, two of these voices can be played together if the musician wants or the voices can be played individually. All of which makes it a great instrument for any music room, classroom or study where a quality piano is needed.
#5 Yamaha P45 88-Key Weighted Action Piano
Like so many of Yamaha’s high-end digital pianos, this one manages to somehow replicate the sound and the feel of a real piano. It’s not only equipped with Yamaha’s GHS Weighted Action System that makes the player feel like their playing an actual acoustic piano, but it also has the sound of a real grand piano thanks to Yamaha’s sampling technology. This keyboard also features 10 different voices and is equipped with a Dual-Mode that allows the player to combine two different voices together at the same time. And since this instrument only has a depth of twelve inches and weighs only 25-pounds, it can be taken easily everywhere it’s needed.
#6 Yamaha P115 Weighted Action Piano
The sound which pours forth from this piano is hard to miss. That’s because Yamaha has gone through great pains to deliver a true grand piano sound by sampling their CFIIIS 9-foot concert grand piano and embedding its sound into this keyboard. This piano is also equipped with 88 weighted keys which make it feel just like an acoustic piano. This combination of delivering a rich concert grand piano with the tactile feel of a piano really creates an impression on anyone playing it. And since it’s also equipped with built-in rhythms, the musician won’t even need a backup band while they’re playing it.
#7 Yamaha YPG-235 76-Key Portable Grand Piano
Anyone who has claimed that digital pianos aren’t capable of delivering a big sound has evidently never heard this Yamaha keyboard being played. It’s capable of delivering a grand piano sound, but do it while remaining extremely portable. It has a grades soft touch, so it can provide the player with several different types of resistance to mimic the keys of a real piano. It is also packed with 500 voices, 30 preset songs, and 160 preset styles. This makes this not only a useful instrument for beginners but also one that anyone who loves a rich sound will want to try out for themselves.
#8 Rockjam 88-Key Home Piano
This is another digital piano which really seems to pack some serious punch for an affordable price. It has 88 full-size keys which have a semi-weighted sensitivity to them. This allows the student to develop their sense of touch when playing the piano at the same time they’re developing their ear. It’s equipped with two 12-watt speakers which deliver high-quality stereo sound, and it has a pedal input that can be used to hook up a sustain pedal. Other features found on this model include 10 unique voices which include everything from a piano to a church organ, as well as an LED light up display.
#9 Alesis Recital 88-Key Semi-Weighted Piano
Although this product refers to itself as a beginner’s piano, the truth is that this instrument does have a lot of features which could prove useful to almost anyone. It has 88 full-sized keys that have a semi-weighted feel to them and allows beginning students to get used to the feel of a true piano. It also has built-in 20-watt stereo speakers that really deliver the sound out to the entire room, and it comes with a 1/4-inch stereo headphone output that allows the student to practice privately. Also built into this model is a 128 note polyphony with two built-in effects: reverb and chorus.
#10 Joy 61-Key Standard Electronic Piano Set
The 61-key piano contained in this set was designed with serious musicians in mind, and that’s very obvious from looking at its features. It has an MP3 music player function built-into it, has 50 demonstration songs, and over 255 timbres and 255 rhythms. This instrument also features an LED screen that allows the operator to choose the functions and the effects they want to use. This set also comes with a number of other accessories which only enhance the usefulness of the keyboard, and these accessories include a music stand, headphone, bench, a 12-volt AC adapter, a keyboard stand and a user’s manual which explains all of this product’s features.
Digital Piano Buying Guide
Only as recently as 30 years ago or so, many people either avoided buying a digital piano or they would buy one of the very expensive ones that were available. Fortunately, the technology has changed enough over the last few decades that people don’t have to spend a fortune on a digital piano to get the sound and performance they’re looking for. However, that doesn’t mean that they don’t need to pay attention to their options. There are an almost endless array of different features found on the digital pianos of today, so the consumer needs to choose one that fits their playing style, their skill level, and their budget.
In this guide, we’re going to be covering some of the basics a person needs to consider before purchasing their next digital piano. Some of the things that are going to be discussed in this guide include digital piano style and price, instrumental voices, and connectivity features of the piano. Having said that, let’s dig right into it and talk about style and price first.
Digital Piano Style & Price
Although most people think of the Casio-style digital pianos that were once popular, that’s only a small selection of the pianos available nowadays. These type of pianos are available as Console, Slab, and Grand Piano varieties and which of these the person selects will depend on how much they want to spend, the physical space limitations of the area it’s being used, and the personal preference of the pianist.
Console digital pianos come in a variety of different styles and range in price from $500 up to $10,000. These models consist of a keyboard that’s custom-fitted with either a stand or a cabinet, and also contains a pedal assembly that’s been built-in. These pianos come in several different styles, from simple to elegant, and usually, are available with different finishes. We’ve seen simple models with synthetic wood grains and models that use beautiful wood veneers.
Although the name of these type of digital pianos isn’t very appealing sounding, they’re the variety that most people are familiar with and have seen quite frequently. These pianos are just a keyboard and sometimes the pedals, but doesn’t have a stand. Of course, it’s quite easy to convert one of these models to a console, if one so desires, so that’s always an option down the road. These models usually cost anywhere from $150 to $3,000, but some models are even more expensive than that. Price isn’t the only thing a person needs to consider before they purchase one of these models, however. They also need to consider the weight of the model they choose. That’s because slab pianos can weight anywhere from 15-pounds up to almost 100-pounds, so the pianist should be sure to not only buy a model they can afford but one that they can properly handle.
Grand digital pianos are among the most expensive models available and they can range in price from $1,200 up to $25,000. These pianos come in baby grand models that are about 3-feet in length, to full-length grand designs that are 5-feet or larger. These pianos are also available in a wide variety of different wood-grain finishes, so there’s plenty of options for the pianist to think about. Many musicians choose these models not only because they look great, but also because the wood often carries the sound of the digital piano better and adds a bit of depth to it.
The next thing a person is going to want to consider is how the digital piano hooks up to a computer or external device. Nowadays, just about any digital piano is capable of connecting up to an external device or computer. This is usually done through a USB to USB connection, but some of the cheaper digital pianos use MIDI to USB connections. More and more digital pianos are also beginning to allow a wireless connection between them and another device through Bluetooth, so your needs should be taken into account before settling on any one piano.
Sound Reproduction Options
Although most of the digital pianos sold today have external speakers, not all of them do. There are plenty of pianos that are designed to be hooked up to external speakers or an amplifier to be used during performances. These pianos are known as Stage Pianos, and they’re quite common nowadays. If a piano isn’t going to be used as a stage piano, then the pianist is likely going to want to consider getting a model with speakers. Another thing that the pianist might want to do is to get a model that has a headphone jack, so the pianist can work on their music without disturbing those around them.
Other Options To Consider
The above points cover the basics that a pianist needs to think about before purchasing their next digital piano. However, that doesn’t cover everything that needs to be considered. Depending on how the consumer is going to use the instrument, they might want to consider a few additional things. With that in mind, below are some other points a person should think about before purchasing their next digital piano.
- Internet Connectivity
- Instrumental Voices
- Ensemble Capabilities
- Acoustic Piano Realism
- External Drive Storage
- Additional Accessories
- Educational Software Support